[Daley whistles in astonishment.]

I’m speechless.

I’ve talked before about SouthCoast becoming a new literary destination and hot spot, and we’ve clearly got the readers to show for it.

The BookLovers Century Club — encompassing all three tiers — just broke all kinds of reading records.

SouthCoast BookLovers read an incredible total of 3,711 books — a whopping 72 percent increase from last year’s 2,651.

In other stats:

The most read authors overall: James Patterson, Lisa Gardner, James Patterson, Lee Child, Louise Penny, Fredrick Backman.

Most popular books: “A Gentleman from Moscow,” by Amor Towles; “Little Fires Everywhere,” By Celeste Ng, “Beartown,” by Fredrick Backman; “The Lilac Girls,” by Martha Hall Kelly; “A Man Called Ove,” by Backman—also a top favorite last year.

Some of you have asked how to join for 2018. Simple. Just keep a list of the books you read and send it to me come Dec. 31. Honor system.

I congratulate each and every BookLover who participated in ‘17, and hereby kick-off the 2018 BookLovers Century Club Challenge! (Trumpets sound.)

Now, last week, we met a handful of the members of the BookLovers Century Club. This week, we have the rest of SouthCoast’s literati:



Pauline Prudhomme, Acushnet: 300

We have a new record-holder, folks.

Our first ever Triple Century Mark.

“Since I retired last Dec. from the Acushnet Public Library I now have more time to do my favorite thing: Read,” Pauline writes.

Pauline, I doff my hat to you. Wow.

Our record-holder’s favorites include “The Swallow’s Nest,” by Emilie Richards; “The Sunshine Sisters,” by Jane Green; “Wonder,” by R. J. Palacio, “The Noel Diary,” by Richard Paul Evans; and “The Unfinished Garden,” by Barbara Claypole White.



Kristen Crossley, New Bedford: 203

A returning Double Century Club Member, Kristen set a Century Club record with 224 last year.

“I'm probably the only person in the world that's slightly disappointed that she only read 203 in a year — the lowest amount in five years,” she said with a laugh.

Hey, I’m impressed.

Kristen’s ’17 favorites include Alice Hoffman's “The Rules of Magic,” Jodi Taylor's “St. Mary Chronicles;” “Rejected Princesses,” by Jason Porath; Seanan McGuire's “Wayward Children.”



Judy Gregory, East Freetown: 124

A four-time Century Club member, Judy said, “I'm so proud to say I made it (again) for 2017. I wasn't sure if I could top my 124 books in 2016 — but I was able to match it.”

Awesome, Judy!

Judy thanked the librarians at the James White Library in East Freetown “for always helping me in finding new books” and “my husband Bob, for encouraging me to read as often as I can. …My thanks to you as well Lauren, for your great columns each week and introducing us to new authors, new books, and new adventures.”

(Aw, shucks.)


Jeanne Eagle, Mattapoisett: 119

With a mix of audio and print, Jeanne’s favorites include “A Great Reckoning,” by Louise Penny; “LaRose,” by Louise Erdrich; “No One is Coming to Save Us,” by Stephanie Powell Watts, and two that were on almost everyone’s favorite lists in 17, including mine: “Beartown,” by Fredrik Backman and “Little Fires Everywhere,” by Celeste Ng.


Robin King, South Dartmouth: 114

A three-time Century Clubber, Robin writes: “Thank you for your inspired coverage of the arts, music and literature scene in our community.”

Thanks for reading, Robin!

Robin’s favorites this year include “Salt Houses,” by Hala Allan, “Family Life," by Akhil Sharma, “Labor Day,” by Joyce Maynard, “Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk,” by Kathleen Rooney.


Betsy Stefanik, Dartmouth: 144

A four-time returning Century Club member, Betsy surpassed her mark last year, 122, “thanks to James Patterson’ ‘Bookshots,' which have 150 pages or less. I really enjoyed many of these as they were more straight-forward with less descriptions and fewer ‘red herrings.’” Nice tip for Patterson fans.


Joanne Kowalczyk, Dartmouth: 133

A returning Century Club member, Joanne said the Century Club “encouraged me to make a list” and helped her “learn about my unconscious reading habits.”

That’s part of the beauty of the list, Joanne.

Joanne’s favorites include "The Address,” by Fiona Davis; “The Chilbury Ladies Choir,” by Jennifer Ryan and “Before We Were Yours,“ by Lisa Wingate.


Lee Heald, Mattapoisett: 105

A four-time returning Century Club member, Lee’s favorites of ’17 include some fantastic picks, including “Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance,” by Bill McKibben; “The Ritz at the Place Vendome,” by Tilar Mazzeo; “Commonwealth,” by Ann Patchett; “The Red Coat,” by Dolley Carlson, and “Hillbilly Elegy,” by JD Vance.


Gail Roberts, Mattapoisett: 112 books

A returning Century Club member, Gail broke her favorites down into genre: Overall favorite: "A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles; Favorite sci-fi: "Lovecraft Country," by Matt Ruff; Favorite mystery: "Glass Houses,” by Louise Penny; Favorite Nonfiction: "Killers of the Flower Moon,” by David Grann.


Debbie Viveiros, New Bedford: 101

Debbie writes, ”This is my first time meeting your challenge of reading 100 books in a year.… I look forward to your book column every week.”

Thanks, Debbie, and welcome to the Century Club!

Debbie’s reads include “Betrayal of Trust,” by J A Jance;

“Murder at the Maples,” by Joanne Phillips; “Poldark,” by Winston Graham; and “Ruthless River,” by Holly Fitzgerald.

Lauren Daley is a freelance writer and music columnist. Contact her at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her at https://www.facebook.com/daley.writer She tweets @laurendaley1.